A group of students from the Utrecht School of Arts (NL) explored wearable electronic by adding interactivity to shoes.
The result of this projects is the FATS shoe. FATS stands for ‘Fitness Achievement Technology System‘ and not as you might assume for ‘being fat’.
The idea of the FATS shoe concept is: the shoes reward physical performance with a visual attractive design. This will stimulate to practice sports and exercise more for an always renewing design on the shoe.
Each time you do some exercise the color pattern on the shoe will pick up your physical activity and rewards you with a changing color scheme on the shoe.
Case study: each Monday you start with a blank shoe. To get more color in your life and on your sneakers you have to accomplish a certain activity level a day for more color and a healthy lifestyle. If you are able to do more than that, you might even unlock the secret rainbow, nightrider levels at the end of the week.
A motion sensor is integrated into the shoe’s heel together with the electronic to watch over your activity. The color changing effect is achieved by waving yarns with glass-fibers into the outer material of the shoe. These Glass-fiber yarns show the colored light coming from LEDs inside the heel.
A brilliant simple idea from the technical side. Activity monitors like the Nike+ become very popular and they work on a similar principle: each time you go the ‘extra mile’ you get rewarded with a motivational speech from prominent sports personalities.
As the FATS concept is using LED light, the most suitable time of getting the most effect of the color changing feature would be in the evening or at night.
The Students envision that kids could be a perfect target group for FATS shoes. Children shoes with flashing lights are on the market for a long time. The flashing lights are either for fun or for safety purpose. FATS shoes for kids would add even more fun and an additional fashion element to our kids sneakers.
I wonder if one of the ‘big’ sneaker companies would pick up the FATS concept and use it for their next fitness sneaker range.
Here is the list of the FATS project team: Merlinda Prizreni, Ka-min Lung, Jos Herder, Michiel Rotgans, Ana Resende, Melissa Bonvie and Suze Ruyten.
A big thumbs-up to this highly creative Student team which created the FATS sneakers.